7 November 2014

"The Perfect Body"


I am sure many of you would have seen the recent Victoria's Secret advert that showed pictures of size 4 girls in lingerie with the words "The Perfect Body" imposed over the top. This caused something of a stir, and rightly so. Victoria's Secret certainly isn't the first brand to cause controversy by promoting the wrong kind of body image, (let's cast our minds back to the Urban Outfitters "Depression" t-shirts of earlier this year) they are no better than any controversies that have preceded them. If anything, not learning from the mistakes of other companies, makes their actions worse.

While Victoria's Secret is by no means the first company to take advantage the fact that in our society rather than being told to love our bodies, the fact that they decided to promote the idea that "skinny is perfect" and sends the message that those people aren't don't fit their brand. While we are endlessly told "to love the skin you're in", fad diets and ways to lose weight in 10 days are still some of the most searched topics on google and grace the front pages of women's magazines on a monthly basis. Apparently the only way to love your body is for it to look like that of a Victoria's Secret model, and this just simply shouldn't be the case. 

All these controversial and thoughtless advertising campaigns really beg the question: Who in their right mind is okay-ing these products and campaigns? There must be some sort of process and group of people who collectively agreed that, in the case of Victoria's Secret, outrightly labelling tall, skinny models as examples of "The Perfect Body" wasn't fat-shaming or detrimental to young-girls' (and guys') self-esteems and ideas about body image. In truth however, Victoria's Secret has achieved what they set out to achieve, this ad campaign has got people talking, people like me have even blogged about it. While people are talking for the wrong reasons, bad publicity is better than no publicity at all? 

The fact that companies are exploiting the idea that our society expects women to look a certain way, yet frowns upon those who actually say it to gain publicity is downright sickening. I'm sure people would have been just as interested in Victoria's Secret underwear had the ad read "love your body" rather than "the perfect body", so why did they not recognise this and do the right thing?